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The End of Jeb

| February 21, 2016

jeb bush presidential ambitions

Jeb Bush bows out. (World Affairs Council)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had the money. He had support from large parts of the Republican establishment. And he had a golden name in GOP politics.

But none of it seemed to matter.


After another lackluster finish Saturday in the South Carolina Republican primary, Bush announced he was halting his presidential campaign. Bush made the televised announcement with his wife, Columba, at his side.

“I’m proud of the campaign that we’ve run to unify our country and to advocate conservative solutions that would give more Americans the opportunity to rise up and reach their God-given potential,” Bush said, appearing emotional. “But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign.”

The announcement ended the possibility of Bush following his brother and father into the White House and left five Republicans — including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a former Bush protege — in the race.

Rubio later said he has “incredible affection and admiration” for Bush and the Bush family.

“He was the greatest governor in the history of Florida, and I believe and I pray that his service to our country has not yet ended,” Rubio said.

While the favorite of many Republican insiders and fund-raisers, Bush could never appear to get his footing in a race that has been largely dominated by the outsider Donald Trump. That showed again Saturday, with Trump easily winning the South Carolina primary after also winning in New Hampshire.

Bush announced the campaign suspension as results showed him winning less than 10 percent of the vote in South Carolina and trailing Trump, Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump repeatedly took shots at Bush during the campaign, including describing the former governor as “low energy” — a description that got widespread attention.

Bush was elected governor in 1998 and was a dominating presence during his two terms in Tallahassee, earning a reputation as something of a policy wonk. In his speech Saturday night, Bush defended his policy-driven approach to the noisy presidential campaign.

“In this campaign, I have stood my ground, refusing to bend to the political winds,” Bush said. “We put forward detailed, innovative, conservative plans to address the mounting challenges that we face, because despite what you might have heard, ideas matter, policy matters, and I truly hope that these ideas that we’ve laid out will serve as a blueprint for a generation of conservative leaders at every level of government so that we can take back our country.”

Rubio, who was in a battle Saturday night with Cruz for second place in South Carolina, tried to cast the campaign after Bush’s exit as a three-candidate race that includes Rubio, Cruz and Trump. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and physician Ben Carson also remain in the race.

“After tonight, this has become a three-person race, and we will win the nomination,” Rubio said.

–Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida

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10 Responses for “The End of Jeb”

  1. Bushwhacked says:

    This guy thought the dynasty would continue to roll on, business as usual and only after millions of lost campaign bucks does he realize no one wants a recycled version of his war mongering dad and brother encased in a fake, puffed up Ronald Regan Halloween costume. Go home and count your money Jeb.

  2. mel guillory says:

    It started out as a shoe in, millions of campaign donations and the clout of the Bush name. Then Donald showed up and he realized it really was true and not a joke that he was running for office, it was a down hill spiral from there!

  3. Heading North says:

    They said to quote Rubio, that Jeb was the best Governor Florida ever had???? I was a state employee under the entirety of his reign as Governor, and he never did a thing for state employees but raise our insurance premiums, refuse our raises, cut our pension plan, and appoint leaders in the field who had no idea what they were doing! Jeb Bush was among the worst!
    Very happy to see him gone! Hope he goes back to his mansion and stays there! Good riddance!!

  4. confidential says:

    Oh Jeb…why did you do that..? look at the choices you left us!
    You were the least dangerous of the four runner ups and probably you were not going to make your brothers mistakes this time around. What will I do?
    Now we may go to regional war with Mexico over… a wall, a WWIII over ISIS, War with China for trying to recover our jobs let go to them by Greed. But maybe also we star producing home all our consumer goods and plenty of jobs.. that may not be able to enjoy much in the midst of the many potential wars using chemical and nuke weapons. Do we ever win ? Isn’t the stock market already showing the uncertainty as well?
    Radio just played “Rocket Man” and reminded me all of them, guys and girls like Senator Nelson and the others braving our infinite space in search for our “future survival and communications” and and emotion invaded me of pride for my homeland and our Americans that sacrifice all for us specially our brave soldiers that make possible our freedom to be able among other things to have elections. Thought that made me smile and see so insignificant these political fights for a day.

  5. Knightwatch says:

    No love for Bush here, but he is at least sane. Now only Kasich stands between us and the crazies. What are Republicans thinking … or do they?

  6. yankee says:

    sad state of the republican party was that this was the least objectionable candidate on the right. Any chance of a remotely decent nominee just went out the window. He probably should have kept his brother out of the race and just agreed with Trump about how bad he was as president.

  7. Shrimpley Pibbles says:

    Don’t forget that “least objectionable” doesn’t mean he was presidential material, this turd in a human flesh suit used the florida legal system and FDLE against Michael Schiavo. This little man got butthurt over the fact that his continued interference as governor of florida in the Terri Schiavo case was slapped down by florida courts time and time again, and when his the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal regarding his ruled-unconstitutional “Terri’s Law” and she was finally allowed to die he tried to get the Pinellas County prosecutor’s office to hang Michael Schiavo as some sort of weird accessory to murder. He’s a childhood bully.

    Hilarious that he’s ok with pulling the plug on his campaign though.

  8. Dave says:

    Great news, another one bites the dust. I just could not handle another Bush serving in the highest office of the nation.

  9. I/M/O says:

    At least Jeb didn’t tell the American people “All the answers are in the Bible” like Rubio did.

    I never saw a JOB POSTING when I red the Bible.

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